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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > California Environmental Compliance > California AB 32

Public Health and Global Warming (AB32) Top California Priorities for 2007

Mary Nichols states California's priorities for CARB: public health and global warming (AB32)

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california green energy solutions The appointment of Mary Nichols as Chair of the California Air Resources Board (July 3, 2007) could be part of a wave of significant changes coming about in California.

In her public remarks at the appointment, Nichols reinterated that the Governor's priorities are:

  • Public Health and
  • AB32
  • "Global warming is the single most important issue of our time," stated Mary Nichols. Protecting, and even enhancing, the science-based and independent work of CARB has never been more important.

    The goal of 25% reduction of Greenhouse Gases by 2020 is a staggering goal.

    AB32 was the subject of much bipartisan negotiation and cooperation in its writing and enactment last year. The act, designed to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020, had various key parts—investing in the independent Air Board regulatory and oversight powers.

    Public health includes a lot of air issues. “There are few environmental issues facing Californians that are more important to our children’s health, our quality of life and our economic security than air quality. When one out of six residents in the San Joaquin Valley has been diagnosed with asthma and one in five children carry an inhaler to school, it is a call to action. The Air Resources Board must keep California on the path of cleaner air, particularly in areas with significant air quality issues such as the San Joaquin Valley, the South Coast and areas around our ports," the Governor stted.

    Nichols has served as director of the University of California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment (IoE), an independent, interdisciplinary unit that sponsors research, teaching and public service initiatives across the entire campus, since 2004. In addition to directing the IoE, she holds a faculty appointment as professor in residence at the UCLA School of Law and an appointment in the School of Public Affairs. Nichols also teaches a seminar on air and water law at the UCLA School of Law. Before joining UCLA, she served as secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003, where she set policy for 27 departments, boards, commissions and conservancies, including Forestry and Fire Protection, Water Resources, Fish and Game, and State Parks, and led efforts to gain voter approval for four successful bond acts that raised over $10 billion for land and water programs. Additionally, Nichols served as chair of the California Air Resources Board from 1978 to 1983 and was a member of the CARB for 7 years. She served as assistant administrator for Air and Radiation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton Administration.

    Nichols was one of California’s first environmental lawyers, initiating some of the first test cases under the Federal Clean Air Act and California air quality laws while practicing as a staff attorney for the Center for Law in the Public Interest. She has worked as a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and also headed the Environment Now Foundation as executive director. Nichols co-founded the first environmental justice working group, a multi-ethnic forum for leaders from traditional environmental and community-based organizations to address issues of environmental equity.

    We look forward to sensitive leadership from such an experienced, caring Californian!

    Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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